Lisa Robbin Young

This is Season Four, Episode Five. This one's all about the dolla billz, baby! Whether you've raised your prices in the last year or the last month, it could be time to raise them again if they didn't go high enough in the first place. Many creative entrepreneurs get emotional when it comes to price increases. So, what if there were an easy, external way to know that it's time to raise your rates?

Your wish is my command! Here are 11 external indicators that can help you determine if a price increase is right for your creative business. Need help communicating that price increase? Consider joining us for the Creative Freedom Guide To Overcoming Underearning, and build your confidence in changing your pricing!

Download Season 4 Episode 5 | iTunes | Anchor | Stitcher

If you’re listening to just the podcast, you’re only getting about a third of the deal. Catch the Creative Freedom web series or join me on Facebook on Fridays at 5:30pm Central time for a LIVE Q&A about the week's topic.

Show Notes

02:21 - Why working for free is problematic, and why you might be inadvertently "programming" people to ask you to work for free.

06:31 - How a client in an economically depressed community managed to raise his rates.

11:00 - When someone is playing "Moneyball" with you, it is time to raise your rates!

16:30 - The "tuna can" tactic that helps you raise rates without changing your current pricing.

19:07 - How to look at barter/trade differently.

22:00 - The power of a $25k offer.

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Click here to join our Rising Tide to get email updates, transcripts, and bonus downloadables only available to members.

Credits & Sponsors

Mentioned in this episode:

Music: "Welcome to the Show" by Kevin MacLeod
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

This is Season Four, Episode Three. The overwhelm episode. Overwhelm is a common trap for creative entrepreneurs caught in an underearning cycle. What can you do when you're knee deep in a project (or multiple projects) and have to keep going? Lisa shares what she learned running her first (and only) 10-mile foot race about how to keep momentum when you get overwhelmed.

This is the second episode in a Summer-long series that deals with different aspects and triggers for underearning. If you want to take this learning deeper, consider joining Overcoming Underearning for Creative Entrepreneurs.

Download Season 4 Episode 3 | iTunes | Anchor | Stitcher

If you’re listening to just the podcast, you’re only getting about a third of the deal. Catch the Creative Freedom web series or join me on Facebook on Fridays at 5:30pm Central time for a LIVE Q&A about the week's topic.

Show Notes

01:06 - How running The Crim (as an overweight 26-year old) gave me a new perspective on dealing with overwhelm.

03:38 - The importance of a finish line in a race (and your work).

07:12 - The "Heartbreak Hill" of overwhelm, and how to get from the start to the finish through even the toughest part of your "race" - even if it's not sexy.

12:15 - Why running together is a different race than running alone, and how that impacts the way you deal with overwhelm.

17:11 - The reasons the 3 creative types can't give up control or accept help - and how to see things differently.

20:14 - The art of delegation - it may not be what you think it is.

Rising Tide Members

Download the delegation worksheet in the member area
Not a member? It's free! Click here to join our Rising Tide to get email updates, transcripts, and bonus downloadables only available to members.

Credits & Sponsors

Mentioned in this episode:

Music: "Welcome to the Show" by Kevin MacLeod
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

[Note: This is another excerpt from my forthcoming book "Creative Freedom" - which I'll be sharing in full with participants at Creative Freedom Live. Seats are going fast - we've got about 5 spots left. If you want one, it's time to get moving and get registered!]

In all my years as both a creative entrepreneur and a coach for other creatives, I've watched plenty of people rise and fall. From one-hit wonders to big-shot internet marketers, some have staying power while others go stale faster than an open bag of potato chips in Michigan's muggy Summer weather (trust me, it's bad!).

What is it that causes some creatives to rise to prominence while others remain in obscurity?

It's something that's fascinated me for years. We all know someone that we think doesn't deserve the spotlight they have. You may be more talented than they are, and yet they're the ones with all the attention. Sometimes they're slimy jerks, who've manipulated their way to the top, and other times, they're just "in the right place at the right time" because they've got connections you don't. And then there are the truly amazing superstars that give us hope, inspire us to go after our dreams, and become our role models on our creative journey - the ones who we believe deserve all the kudos and accolades they receive.

Regardless of HOW they rose to prominence in their field, they've worked hard to get there - even if the work was less than ethical.

But there's something I've found that all these people have in common - whether they're good-hearted, wonderful people or slimy, manipulative baddies. In fact, there are 4 must-have skills and traits that every single one of them have in common - regardless of their creative type. Without them, it becomes nearly impossible to achieve the success and longevity you desire as a creative entrepreneur.

4 Strengths Every Creative Entrepreneur Needs To Succeed


This one seems obvious, right? But clarity is very nuanced. What exactly do you need to be clear about?

For one thing, a creative entrepreneur need to be clear on who they are. My friend, Tajci Cameron was an international pop music superstar and she bagged it all because they were trying to cram her spirit into a mold that didn't fit the powerful, thoughtful, change-making woman she was becoming. She came to the states with just a few dollars, knowing no one. Decades later, Tajci's created her own path - one that's given her more joy and fulfillment than she ever had in her "glory days" when they made a doll in her image.

Tajci has one of those dolls on a shelf in her office. I was envious when I first saw that doll. But then it occurred to me that the doll represented just one small piece of who Tajci really is. She's so much more than a doll in a box. No box could ever contain the boundless light, life, and joy she brings to her fans (and the world) through her music, stories, and video journal. Tajci's found a way to stay true to who she is and still create in ways that are meaningful to her.

In addition to being clear on who you are, you need to be clear on how you want to show up in the world. You also need to be clear on your message and why it matters to your audience. These answers come with time and practice, but they are crucial to having staying power as a creative entrepreneur. Tajci could have given up years ago, but she knew that music was her path.

"Throughout my journey," she says, "knowing there was someone out there who could hear my voice and my songs gave me a sense of being heard, accepted, understood and loved... I am a singer/songwriter and passionate about my music, I use it to express myself and give voice to my soul- as free as I am courageous to let it be."


It takes guts to face regular rejection of your work - and not see it as a personal rejection. It takes guts to step out on faith and do something you've never done before. Yet courage is one of the biggest elements sorely lacking in so many talented creatives. When I was a kid, I was told to be offended if someone ever said I had potential. "It means you're not living up to it."

For better or worse, Justin Bieber's got courage. In a 2009 interview, Bieber recounts how he met Usher:

"Usher happened to roll up in his Range Rover. I ran up to him, and I was like, 'Usher, I love your songs. Want me to sing you one?' The politest possible way he could say no, he did. ... I took the hint. I didn't get to sing for him: He had to run into a studio session."

Kids are often the most courageous among us, and Bieber was still a kid at the time of this chance meeting with his idol. He didn't let that stop him. He knew this might be the only chance he had to meet or talk to Usher, and he took that chance. It didn't seem to pan out at first, which is more common than you might think. But thanks to a little help from his support team (we all need one), Justin did get that chance after all:

"He actually watched my videos — after my manager got to talking to him — and was like, 'I should have let this kid sing,' and flew me back to Atlanta where I got to sing for him in a proper setting."

You've got to have the courage to own your message and speak it into the world - in whatever format your Great Work "speaks". You've got to have courage to consistently show up as your true self - warts, sparkles and all, as I like to say. You've got to be willing to be unpopular, and sometimes borrow someone else's courage for yourself. Stephen King's book Carrie was rejected so many times he threw it in the trash. But his wife was courageous enough to dig it out of the trash and not let him give up.

You've also got to be courageous enough to admit and own your mistakes and make amends.


Courage creates opportunities for practice - which is how you build confidence. Confidence to nurture your message, nurture your audience, and nurture yourself. It's the difference between being a Freshman and a Senior in high school. My physics class had students from all grades in it. Sure, I was smarter than some of the Seniors in that class, but when we left the classroom, they were the ones exuding more confidence in the halls.  They knew who the best teachers were, which ones to avoid, and the underclassmen looked up to them, aspiring to be them in many cases.

When you've been at the game for a while, you know the rules, you know where you can bend them and where you have to press on through the hard stuff. You know what to avoid, what to accept, and what you can change. You know the difference you can make. That's the difference between courage and confidence. Courage comes from facing the unknown while confidence is built through knowing.

Confidence allows you to say no with grace and yes with enthusiasm and know when things are or are not a good fit for you. Confidence gives you a greater ability to trust the process, trust your team, and make strategic decisions that benefit you in the long term even if they're not so great for you in the short term. Many times, when working with clients, this is the piece that snaps together the fastest, once we've got their courage issues handled.

Confidence is NOT the same as arrogance. Arrogance is confidence in your own infallibility. No one is perfect. Arrogance drinking your own Kool-Aid and believing your own hype. Don't fall victim to it.

Cash Flow

Here's the kicker. Ya gotta have more money coming in than going out. Toni Braxton is the poster child of this issue. After filing bankruptcy, she worked her way back and launched a self-funded stint in Vegas. Just after she renewed her contracts, she was diagnosed with medical conditions that kept her from keeping her commitments. She filed bankruptcy again, this time knowing she never be able to perform at her peak again. "I'm definitely on a budget," she said in a 2012 interview.

Where's the money coming from? Where's it going to? What do you have set aside or saved up for the unexpected? You can run on credit for a while, but, like Braxton, it'll eventually come back to bite you. The sooner you can get in the black and stay there, the better off you'll be.

I talked about all this in today's Facebook Live. Here's the replay:


First an exciting announcement: A few weeks ago, I happily celebrated 500,000 views on my YouTube channel. THIS week, I'm celebrating 300 subscribers (click here to subscribe instantly)!

Confetti! Fireworks! Hooray! Huzzah!

This has been a goal of mine for several years, and I'm beyond thrilled that it's finally happened. It was a lot more challenging than I expected, and I've learned a lot along the way. As my channel grows I've developed a love and strong respect for the YouTube community. If you're on YouTube, please say hi and spread the love. Your awesomeness makes this show possible.


Sometimes it's hard to shine in a world of haters.

I was on a coaching call with a client this week and we spent a good amount of time talking about how hard it can be to shine brightly when everyone around you is complaining about your light.

"You're too bright."

"Can you turn it down a little?"

"You're always so enthusiastic about [topic]. I'm tired of it."

While occasional constructive criticism is important (when you work with me, I'm not afraid to give it to you straight), it's also important to remember that you've got Divinely-given gifts that are uniquely yours to bring into the world.

Shout it out! Tell everyone about your brand. Heck, have your brand name printed out onto face masks, hoodies, pens or mugs if necessary. Don’t hide them away; be proud of who you are and what you have achieved.

If you don't shine your light, who will?


Often times, we're put down, or we feel guilty about being so awesome. And even if you're shy and reserved, it can be tough to deal with the criticism and "baggage" others want to foist on you when you're sharing your gift with the world. It often results in being overgenerous as a means to counter the criticism, to be liked, or to "apologize" for your existence.

Been there, done that.

You don't need to apologize for being awesome. We all shine in our own way, and yes, some of us are called to shine "brighter" or to a "bigger" audience (remember: size is relative. If it's your dream, it's big. Period.). That doesn't make us any more (or less) needed in the world.

Sometimes we're put in a position where we shine brighter than the folks around us because they need to get used to having more light in their lives. This isn't a statement of arrogance. Most of the awesomely talented people I know didn't ask to be awesome. They just are. But the amount of guilt they feel and crap they take for being so shiny is overwhelming. I'm reminded of the crawdads in a bucket that keep pulling each other back down so that no one escapes.

It's not your job to diminish your light.

You don't have to make your light any less bright. That's what sunglasses and window shades are for. People can choose to be around you and they can choose to leave. This is a lesson I'm learning myself. For YEARS I have felt the need to dim my own light because the people around me couldn't deal with how shiny I am. I never asked to shine. I was born with these gifts, and while I've honed them over the years, it was never in an attempt to be better than anyone other than myself.

It's not your job to diminish your light. Your job is to shine your light into the world. (Click to tweet this)

There are plenty of people in the world who are afraid of the light. Heck, even Plato wrote about it in his Allegory of the Cave. But here's the thing:

Just because other people are afraid of the light, or judge the light, or shun the light, doesn't mean that you need to take it personally.

When I walk into my bedroom and flip on the light, sometimes my husband grumps about it. My light bulb doesn't get all defensive and start apologizing for being bright. That's what light bulbs do, for pity's sake! And while I might apologize for causing my husband pain, I rarely apologize for turning on the light because I needed the light to see. Don't apologize for your needs. Apologizing for your needs equates to saying "I'm not worthy of having my needs met. I'm sorry for my existence."

Word choices can be tricky, eh? But I've said this many times in the past: you train people how to treat you based on what you've come to accept from them and what they've come to expect from you. If you're constantly apologizing for your existence, then, Houston, YOU have a problem.

What The American Revolution and Katy Perry know about shining brightly...

Katy Perry sang an inspiring song that confirms that the only way to shine is to ignite yourself:

"You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July"

I think it's safe to say that if you don't ignite yourself - and let yourself shine - it's improbable that anyone else will do it for you.

On the surface, Independence Day is about celebrating my country's establishment as a sovereign nation. It's become the high holy day of picnics, beach fun, and fireworks.

But at the core, it's a symbol to embrace what matters most to you, hold it out for the world to see, and stand your ground. Do you think the British were particularly pleased? Hardly. They fought us for several years before and after we claimed our independence.

You'll probably face a few battles of your own (both internal and external ones). That's to be expected. As several great minds (including William Lamb and Stan Lee) once said, "with great power comes great responsibility." Being awesome ain't always easy, but you've got it in you to handle it!

Need a little extra incentive?

This tale of two pennies can help you shine.

Our Independence Week edition of Creative Freedom brings us a special "guest appearance" - this time by Katy Perry. It's a friendly reminder to own your awesomeness.

Are you ready to shine?

What are you awesome at? Go on! Toot your own horn (I dare you)! How have you been holding back your awesomeness? Do you know someone else that's letting their light shine "brighter than the moon"? Share your stories, thoughts, and ideas in the comments.

If you or someone you know could use this information, please share us with them and be part of our Rising Tide! Every share helps. THANK YOU!

OH, BTW... Des is coming back from California this week, so look for new videos in the 300 songs project soon! YAY!

She was sprawled out on the sidewalk, screaming bloody murder.  The bike - a garage sale special (meaning there was no padding on the all-metal seat) - was still somehow attached to her.

She and I lived close to each other, and were about the same age, but I had no real interest in bikes when I was six. I wanted her to play dolls with me, but no. She was a tomboy through and through. And she really wanted to learn how to ride a bike.

Her parents bought her this scrap metal bike with what little money they had, took it home, cleaned it up with a bit of red spray paint, and after letting it dry, gave it to her.

She wasted no time. She hopped on (no training wheels), and took off down the neighborhood. I lived at the end of the street, so most of the kids used our house as the turnaround. I waited for her there.

She was no stranger to bikes. Most of the neighborhood kids had them and let her ride when parents weren't looking. Some with training wheels, some without. When this little girl climbed on her very own bike, she was a natural.


Still straddling the metal heap of a bicycle, but flat on her back, the girl was screaming bloody murder. Apparently, she hit a sidewalk bump where the concrete was broken up and the metal seat jammed her... in the... well, you know.

She lost control, the bike fell over, and she was sort of tangled up in it.

So much screaming. So much crying. I kept looking for blood, but didn't see any. Maybe she broke her leg or something. I thought for sure her folks were going to end up taking her to the hospital. Even her brother - who normally ignored his baby sister - set out to figure out if she was okay... or at least get the kid to stop crying and screaming.

Once they calmed her down, they realized that beyond the need for a padded seat, the only thing that was really bruised was her pride. So her father, in all his infinite wisdom, encouraged her to "stop crying like a baby and get back on the damn bike."

The little girl obediently climbed back on - after setting the bike back up and giving it a firm kick to show it who was boss. This time, instead of riding up and down the street, she practiced in my gravel driveway. She practiced turning, braking, and navigating the bike on "a bumpy road" as she called it. She even managed to teach herself to ride "standing up" so that the seat didn't get the best of her again.

She fell a few more times (gravel wipeouts - OUCH!), but under the watchful eye of her parents, she managed to get back up without shedding a single tear.

By dinnertime, she was racing one of the neighbor kids, giggling and playing as if she was a cycling pro.

Eat your heart out, Lance Armstrong!

Clarity + Confidence + Courage = Success


A colleague of mine once shared a similar equation with me. She was using it to talk about the power of irresistible presence, and how, when these three elements are combined, you are more able to show up in a magnetic and authentic way.

The more I looked at her equation, the more truth I saw.

Success in anything can ONLY come when we have these three elements in proper measure. Without all three, you'll fall short in some way. Don't believe me? Let's look and see:

Clarity alone won't make you a success.

One of the most important things I've ever done for myself was develop The PEACE System. It helps me have crystal clarity on my priorities for any given day. Coupled with my Dreamblazing program, I've created my perfect solution to knowing exactly what matters most in any given moment. I have total CLARITY on what to do, and why.

After she fell, that little girl had clarity that her bike had a few issues, and that she needed more practice riding with it before she took it out onto the broken sidewalks of our ghetto neighborhood.

But clarity alone only helps you see the bicycle. It doesn't give you insight into how to actually ride it. Clarity says "I need to learn how to ride the bike." Confidence says "This is how one rides a bike."

Big difference.

Clarity + Confidence ="Sexual Intellectual."

You know what that means right? No? Here's the Urban Dictionary definition. CONFIDENCE comes from this space of knowing. When you've got clarity, you can make some decisions about what to do, and what not to do. You can even help other people make decisions based on what you know. As a coach, I am lucky enough to work with clients that need to make changes in their lives and business, but if all I did was spout off my knowledge, or tell them what to do, I'd be nothing more than a "sexual intellectual" that no one wants to work with. What's more, if I left my clients in that space, they'd never make any forward progress.

Confidence is the by-product of practice. Practice can only happen in a safe space. Like learning to ride a bike, there's always a fear of falling down, but training wheels and a steady hand on the back of the seat can make all the difference between riding down the street and never getting on the bike in the first place.

Confidence is built when the action you take is positively reinforced. When that little girl got back up on the bike, her parents stood by (safe space) and encouraged her progress. When her progress was reinforced, it gave her the confidence to know that she could ride this bike.

That little girl knew she could ride a bike - she'd done it before. She just needed to figure out how to handle the particular quirks of this bike. She quickly realized the seat would be an issue, so she needed to learn how to ride standing up. That would pretty much solve her "cushion" problem.

But knowing is only half the battle (GI Joe!)... or in this case a third of the battle. Because all the clarity & confidence in the world won't help you if you don't have the courage to do something with what you know.

Courage without Clarity is arrogance.

For most people, if you've got courage, you've got confidence. COURAGE is the active piece to the "knowing" of Confidence. But sadly, people act with "courageous stupidity" all the time. You hear stories about someone accidentally setting their house on fire because they tried to kill a spider with a torch. Crazed drivers struck by road rage who speed up as someone tries to pass them - only to find out that person was a cop.

We all have something we're fighting for, something we believe in, something that in our bones we know to be true (that we'll defend to the bitter end). But without clarity (of what an appropriate response would be, for example), our courageous acts come off just plain arrogant or stupid.

This little girl could have thrown the bike to the ground in disgust and refused to ride it. After all, she "knew" she could ride a bike, and this one wasn't behaving properly. But because she also had clarity that this was the only bike her parents could afford, if she really wanted her very own bike to ride, she'd have to act differently.

Clarity says "I need to learn how to ride the bike." Confidence says "This is how one rides a bike." Courage says "This is me, riding this damn bike."

Want to learn more?

I'm leading a free workshop on Saturday March 14, 2015 to help you have more clarity, confidence, and courage in your life and business. If you're ready to learn how to create your own safe space to develop confidence and courage in your life and work, I hope you'll join me for this special, one-time-0nly workshop. You can learn more and register here. I'll also be sharing more about my Creative Freedom Apprenticeship and telling you how you could earn a scholarship to attend at no cost to you.

by Winnie Anderson

[Editor's note: This is Day 22 of the Be Your Own Guru series, and we're continuing the them of "how-to's" this week. I met Winnie in an online class, and we teamed up to practice elevator pitches. Then we started talking about fear, love and God. Yep. Deep stuff. Winnie's got a great take on fear and how to get past it today.]

That famous social commentator, Anonymous, is quoted as saying “Owning a business is the best self- development program around.”

How right she is.

Whether you’re an accidental entrepreneur, fulfilling a lifelong dream of being on your own, or you’ve got talents and a passion you’re driven to share with the world, at some point as you build the business you come face-to-face with emotional baggage you either didn’t know you had or were sure you had unpacked when you were 18 and still knew everything.

Starting a business isn’t hard. Any child can tell you how to start a lemonade stand: Figure out what you’re selling, come up with a price, put up a sign, and collect the money.

So why isn’t everyone who starts a business wildly or even mildly successful? (more…)

My husband and I were grocery shopping yesterday. That's a rare occurrence. Usually, it's just one of us navigating the aisles of the store. But yesterday was our first day back from vacation, and we had to return the rental car, so it just made sense to get the shopping done on the way home. We're so practical like that.

In the store, I saw this card. Normally, I'm not one to take a picture of a greeting card, but this one really struck a chord with me. First there's the lovely blue butterfly. My eye is instinctively drawn to anything that is electric blue in color, and the butterfly is a powerful symbol of transformation (my friend Teresa wrote a great article about butterflies and transformation here).

Then, there's that sentence. A sentence that bothers me in all the right ways. One of my core beliefs is that we all have a unique gift that we were put on this earth to share with our world. As a creative entrepreneur, sometimes it's easier to see that we have a gift. But in truth EVERYONE has a gift. We all have a Divine purpose, as far as I'm concerned. Too many of us, however, have that purpose smothered, buried, or otherwise silenced. We become like that masterpiece collecting dust in the attic that I've talked about before. (more…)